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  • The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642. All attempts at constitutional compromise between King Charles and Parliament broke down early in 1642. Both King and Parliament raised large armies to gain their way by force of arms. In October, at his temporary base near Shrewsbury, King Charles decided to march on London in order to force a decisive confrontation with Parliament's main army, commanded by the Earl of Essex. Late on 22 October, both armies unexpectedly found the enemy to be close by. The next day, the Royalist army descended from Edge Hill to force battle. After the Parliamentary artillery opened a cannonade, the Royalists attacked. Both armies consisted mostly of inexperienced and sometimes ill-equipped troops. Many men from both sides fled or fell out to loot enemy baggage, and neither army was able to gain a decisive advantage. After the battle, King Charles resumed his march on London, but was not strong enough to overcome the defending militia before Essex's army could reinforce them.

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